How to Get Started

If you have ever thought about testing your vocational skills against the best in the business or travelling overseas for professional development, here’s your chance. An AOF Award could be your ticket to furthering your career. Before starting your application, be sure to have electronic copies of supporting documentation to submit with your application. Documents include: Academic Transcripts, Certificates, Resume, Letter of support from 3 Referees, Awards and other relevant supporting documents. Please complete all sections on the form and email it to with the relevant supporting documents.

About The Award

The Board of Directors is aware of the potential implications of Covid-19 and the concerns of our stakeholders and future award winners. The award recipient has 12 months to provide an Approved Program to the Board after accepting the award and each award is valid for a period of two years. This means that you can plan your travel for a future time, when the Covid-19 is under control.

Each year, the AOF provides a limited number of overseas awards to help Australians fulfil their dreams of working internationally in their chosen field. The program ultimately benefits Australian industry through the knowledge and skills that return with the award recipients.

An AOF award provides:

  • The opportunity to travel and work overseas.
  • Return economy airfares to a country of choice.
  • Settling in allowance.
  • Assistance with the cost of short courses.
  • Return shipment of tools of trade.
  • Assistance in obtaining employment and work Visas.
  • Some assistance attending specialised training trade and industry forums.
  • A unique experience for personal and professional development.

The AOF will assist award recipients with establishing contacts and making arrangements with overseas organisations to gain employment which meets their goals.

It is the responsibility of the recipient to conclude all arrangements for travel and employment before leaving Australia. This condition may be varied in exceptional circumstances e.g. Employer requiring face-to-face interviews.

Recipients are required to provide the AOF with reports on their experiences at key stages during their period overseas. Upon returning to Australia they will debrief with the AOF CEO and their sponsor and they may also be involved in industry forums representing AOF.

Recipients are also required to present to their sponsor and forums as requested upon their return from overseas

Want to develop your career overseas?

The AOF awards are open to Australians between the ages of 21 and 34 who have completed a trade apprenticeship or vocational traineeship to Certificate Level III.

Applicants should be:

  • Exceptional in their fields of endeavour, be goal orientated and capable of leadership development.
  • A top performer during their formal training.
  • Involved in their community and capable of being an ambassador for Australia whilst overseas.
  • Prepared to travel overseas for employment for a period of one to two years.
  • An Australian resident and citizen.
  • Prepared to take up the award within 12 months of it being presented and intend to return to Australia after the placement.

The AOF endeavours to be flexible in its support of the personal development of young people. Those who fall outside the above mentioned criteria but with disadvantaged, indigenous or special needs backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Note: Shorter employment terms may also be considered if appropriate.


Award recipients are carefully selected by the AOF committee and have come from high achieving backgrounds. Receiving a highly prestigious AOF Award is well recognized by business and industry.

Some of the benefits of receiving an AOF award include:

  • The chance to participate in overseas travel.
  • Meeting people in a foreign country and learning about their customs and lifestyle.
  • Extending technical expertise via appropriate on-the-job work experience.
  • Advanced employability on return to Australia from working, gaining experience, learning and studying overseas.
  • Improved career prospects from gaining state-of-the art industry knowledge by working in other countries.

Embark on a career experience of a lifetime and bring back an international perspective on your industry.

The AOF take the following criteria into consideration when reviewing applications:

  • Evidence of applicant’s readiness to take up the award
  • Potential for growth of applicant’s employment related skills, knowledge and career outcomes
  • Potential for applicant to positively influence and impact their industry and prospective applicants in coming years
  • Demonstrated or potential interpersonal and communication

Steps in the Award Process

Due to a number of timing variables, applications are now accepted all year round. If you are too late for this year, you will automatically be considered for next year’s awards.

  1. Submit Application and supporting documentation online
  2. Receipt of application confirmed by AOF
  3. Applications reviewed and short-listed applicants will be invited to participate in an interview process
  4. Phone, Skype or in-person interview
  5. Applications considered by the Selection Panel
  6. All applicants and winners advised of the outcome by phone and email (steps 2-6 takes about 1 month)
  7. Annual Awards Dinner to officially recognise and congratulate successful awardees
  8. Guidance in choosing your employer’s country, applying for employment, Visa application and preparation for departure
  9. Fly out (steps 7-10 take 6-12 months)
  10. Send update reports back to the AOF board every 6 months
  11. Return home from your life changing experience and debrief with your sponsor and the AOF


An exact monetary value cannot be applied to awards, as the cost varies according to the industry, time of travel, country visited and so each award is tailored to suit individual need. However, main costs covered include- return air fares, visas, freight of tools, settling in allowance and support with study and prerequisite training costs such as OH&S certification.
Your choice, however for some countries such as America, it may be very difficult to obtain Work Visas. Your choice of the appropriate countries according to your trade or industry will be supported. Whilst employed overseas, the award winner is entitled to the salary and wages applicable to the work obtained. This is the obligation of your employer, not the AOF.

1-2 years after which you are required to return to Australia and pass on your experiences to your sponsor and industry.

We recommend that you travel and gain a variety of cultural experiences while you are overseas.

The AOF will endeavour to provide you with contacts overseas where possible. You will be encouraged to research and obtain a suitable position yourself as part of the learning experience. We will support and assist you to ensure you achieve the best possible outcome.

Typically 6 – 12 months as a great deal of preparation is needed to put all necessary arrangements in place.

All candidates applications are reviewed within two weeks of the closing date and the best are shortlisted for interview. All candidates are notified at that time. Interviews are arranged ASAP following but can take up to two weeks to allow for interstate travel. Successful applicants are notified within one week from interview.

Recent Winners

The Recent Winners of the AOF Awards.



Public Servant

These outstanding professionals have returned with not only
insights from their industry but new cultural understandings.